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Aug 15, 2017

Five years later, Audit finds that G.O.B. had favorable relations with ‘Special Effects’

Late this evening, News Five has been able to get a sneak peek at the 2012-2013 Auditor General’s Report which is expected to be tabled this Friday in the House.  The document is voluminous so it will take more time to go through its content page by page.  But from what we have seen so far, the document reveals a myriad of shortcomings and outright discrepancies as well as a disregard for regulations in government finances for the period under review.  In fact, the opinion expressed by the Auditor General is that “in the analysis of Financial Statement 2012/2013 most bank accounts along with other Government of Belize accounts managed by the Accountant General were not reconciled. These accounts have not been reconciled for a number of years. In some instances accounts have significant discrepancies and in all instances have a material effect on the overall presentation of the Financial Statements.” Under the heading, Basis for Opinion, the report justifies that the financial statements presented for auditing do not give a true and fair view of the Government of Belize’s financial position as of March thirty-first, 2013 in accordance with the Finance and Audit Reform act, 2005.  That aside, here is just one example of what is contained. In Chapter Four, Ministry of Works, Audit Inspection of Special Effects Performance. This is a company based in Belmopan; it is owned by businessman Hamed Rahmani Mehdi Abadi.  The general nature of the business is the sale of auto parts and accessories.  Now, the audit conducted a routine inspection of the accounting records and associated documents for contracts entered into by the Ministry of Works during a four-year period 2009 to March 2013.  During the inspection, says the report, attention was drawn to the volume of purchases made from Special Effects and Special Effects Performance by the Ministry. But here is the thing; even though government was buying left, right and center, it was conducting business with a company that is not registered.   But that is not all, because the real issue is that in this venture, government was losing big bucks financially.  The report states that,  “A comparison of identical items and prices revealed that prices, from two other businesses, were much higher than established dealerships resulting in a loss to the government.” The Chief Engineer conceded that “the prices are indeed higher, reason being that Special Effect Performance accommodates the Ministry of Works when it does not have funds to buy tires.” According the Chief Engineer,  the company does do not demand purchase orders and are willing to wait up to two years for payment. Now, of the five point six million budgeted for materials and supplies, a whopping one point seven million was paid only to Special Effects and Special Effects Performance. The Minister of Works for that period and up to 2012 was Boots Martinez. Minister Rene Montero assumed the Ministry thereafter.

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3 Responses for “Five years later, Audit finds that G.O.B. had favorable relations with ‘Special Effects’”

  1. Jaded says:

    Keep digging! There’s much more. While you’re at it check out the special relationship between Westrac and Big Minister John from Belmopan. Utterly disgusting.

  2. Sophia says:

    Yes, please keep digging. Don’t let comments like the above (involving other companies who do totally legitimate transactions) distract you from the real issue.

  3. carlos says:

    This is the extent of the corruption now in government. I hope they audit the ministry of natural resources so we can see the extent of the corruption. But now when you have a minister that is willing to find out and put a stop, she is stopped by the big heads and even threaten her life. This shows that D. Barrow does not intend to crack the corruption.

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